Prepare for the Job Search
- Disclosing Your Disability to an Employer Uncertain as whether or when to disclose a disability? This document outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages of disclosure and gives tips on timing it.
- Salary Negotiation Think you want to negotiate for a higher salary? This article by Maureen McNulty provides some valuable information.
Before the job search
You need to know clearly who you are and what you want in order to get a really satisfying job. Before searching for a job, spend some time defining yourself. You can do this on your own, by going to a drop-in advising appointment, or through our 8 week career-exploration course.
Once you know yourself, know your job. Explore prospective careers before committing to a long course of study, going through an arduous application process, or signing up for a job you don't really know about. Meet with an advisor in a drop-in advising appointment, or take our 8 week job search strategies course to learn more about preparing for the job search. To learn about daily life in a particular career, try informational interviews, job shadowing, volunteering, or an internship.
The job search
You'll repeat this process often in your life:
- Create or modify your resume. Without worrying about length, brainstorm and write out any position you've held in any organization. Write down every task you've completed, how you did the task, and the result, as well as your honors, awards, and other activities. This first draft has two functions: it gives you material to revise into a final resume, and it makes you aware of the skills you've acquired.
- Find a job opening. Once you have a resume draft, find an interesting job for which you're qualified. myIUcareers is a great place to start, and we've posted other job and internship resources. Check out our IUB Funding Roadmap for other internship and "bridge" funding, which often means a year-long post-graduate internship. Your friends, family, or professional contacts may also know about a job opening.
- Rewrite your resume. Read the job ad closely or talk to your contact and pay special attention to what they're looking for in applicants. Shape and trim your resume to respond exactly to the employer's expectations. Imitate the employer's language as much as possible to describe yourself. Proof and revise until it's flawless.
- Write a cover letter. Pick one or two experiences from your resume and expand on them, presenting your accomplishments in order to show that you have exactly the qualifications the employer wants. Proof and revise until your formatting, spelling, and grammar are flawless.
- Prepare for the interview. Research the employer and practice interviewing.
- Write a thank you note. Remind the employer that you exist and show them how nice you are. If you've never written a thank you note, we have a handout with instructions and a sample in our documents library.
- Assess the results. Did you succeed? If not, what skills or qualifications do you need in the future? If so, it might be time to negotiate—read the handout on salary and benefits negotiation in our documents library.
Our advisors are available to help you through these steps. Come to the Career Development Center for a drop-in advising appointment at any point in your job search.